Day 17: #30pages30pics

   
I hang up the phone and look at my list of accomplishments for the day. D called to congratulate me. He’s one of my growing team of cheerleaders, a team I’m starting to accept. But I still feel like everything is so minuscule. I feel unaccomplished. But there is that list staring at me. I did do stuff. 

“Do I have unrealistic expectations of what I should do in a day?” 

Don scoffs, holding back a laugh, “well, yeah. I mean, I’m not even going to try to soften it. Yes you do. We both do.” 

Have I always been doing this? Why have I never thought about it this way before? But then again, striving for perfection but always missing it has just been normal for far too long. 

Day 13: #30pages30pics

   
This was me earlier today when I chose to have a massage to loosen where stress and anxiety that live in my body. Before it all came back and I fell into what I call “walking panic attacks” – I still function and go about my day but I can’t catch my breath and my heart keeps racing. All I want to do is run away or explode. All I can let myself do is keep going. Act normal. Don’t fall apart. 

Right now, I’m trying to get back, at least a portion of, my earlier serenity…

Day 12: #30pages30pics

  
Down and Up then Down again.  

I’m on an emotionally roller coaster. But I only go up because I have to. I have to be up to leave my apartment. Leave my bed. Get myself dressed and act normal. 

I don’t feel normal. I feel weird. I’m the weirdest out of place thing that ever was. Sometimes I can embrace my weirdness – feel empowered by it. But then the darkness creeps in and taints the weird back to the gross, out of place thing that I know I am. 

I’m just weird. All I’ve wanted is to be normal and fit in – even though normal has never felt right either. 

So, I go Down and Up then Down again – always hoping that the Up will last a little bit longer. 

Day 11: #30pages30pics

  
 I started my day thinking about the Spoon Theory. I spent my day working. I was told by a crazy person that I was “very unhelpful” and the “worst experience” they ever had after I helped them. I spent my evening talking with my friend who I am ecstatically happy for. I drank wine and coloured my hair purple. 

Then I tried writing about vulnerability. Who my people are. But writing about vulnerability makes me vulnerable. All I could write after that was how much I don’t want to think about feelings anymore. I don’t want to feel my feelings. 

And now I’m thinking about Spoon Theory again because I think I constantly over estimate and use up my physical and emotional resources on a daily bases. I keep borrowing against the next day hoping that there will be more spoons. 

There’s never more spoons.  

Day 10: #30pages30pics

   

Today started out crappy. If I didn’t have three articles to write for tomorrow I would have stayed in bed all day. That wouldn’t have been a good thing. So, I got up. I worked. I went for a walk. I worked some more. I’m thinking about what role concepts of purpose play in my experience of depression. I will push myself through my own feelings so long as there is an external force with possible punishment (school, work) – otherwise I have a hard time believing anything I want or even NEED is worthwhile. 

Day 9: #30pages30pics

   
I decided to leave as much of my armour as I could at home today.
Wearing makeup gives me an extra layer of emotional defense in my sessions because I don’t want to look obviously emotional if I, say, cry. But today I left it all off my face and entered therapy with willingness and hope if not my usual anxiety.
My therapist reminded me that he is on my team and here to back me up as I untangle my webs and learn to value my emotional needs. 
It’s hard to hear that some one is there for me – hard to trust it – but it’s really nice to hear. 

Day 8: #30pages30pics


I got kinda drunk and tired for day 7 so I missed it. 

Today’s writing feels like a hotdog and donut entry. 

In the 3rd grade I had to keep a daily journal in class. We were taught cursive writing that year so I’m pretty sure this was practice. Each page had a section at the top to draw a picture to go along with our writing. 

I never knew what to talk about. My thoughts and feelings seemed too personal. Besides, the teacher was reading this. So, on more than one occasion, I wrote about hotdog and donut day. The day when, instead of bringing lunch, we could buy a hotdog and a honey glaze donut for a couple of bucks. 

I got really good at drawing hotdogs and donuts. 

  
Clearly this skill did not translate well over 20 years later.